Match report

Tiverton Town 1 - 2 Yeovil Town

   Monday 04/08/2008   Friendly
Alan Reidy

Before we get our teeth into the real business there are a few loose ends from the pre-season schedule to tie up, with the games against Yeovil Town at Ladysmead followed by the Hospital Cup match on the other side of town at Horsdon Park against Elmore too look at.



The Glovers from Somerset brought to town a youthful and enthusiastic side, and made the short journey home with a 2-1 victory and the Tivvy supporters impressed with their second string. They had pace and movement in abundance in the final third, with trialist Ben Taufik showing good form particularly, but despite what was a fine and considered showing from Yeovil the Yellows managed to hold them for long periods, and might consider themselves rather unlucky to finish the game on level terms.



Taufik grazed the outside of Ray Johnston’s goalpost just a few minutes into the action, and Harry Nodwell nodded just wide of the mark after a swirling cross from the left flank by Ren Turnock, one of the few Yeovil players with first team experience on show during the evening. At the other end of the pitch Tivvy were not without their chances but failed to work Lloyd Irish in the Yeovil goal, with first Glenn Gould, and then fifteen minutes later Lawrence Yiga both missing the target. Yiga was booked for a crude and needless high sliding challenge on Glovers’ captain Rob Fitzgerald on the half-hour mark, and trialist striker Matt Groves could only bobble a shot weakly at Irish after neat footwork allowed him to wriggle into space.



The opening goal of the game arrived on 36 minutes amidst a comedy of errors; Nathan Rudge collided with his own goalkeeper; Tom Scott on the Yeovil right wing found himself caught up and tipped over in the mêlée and the visitors won a free kick on the corner of the penalty area. The superbly names Jason Mason curled the set piece towards the far post, Owen Irish swung and shot, Matt Villis threw himself in the way but managed only to divert the ball past the wrongfooted Johnston and into a hungry net. Picking the ball out of the goal was Johnston’s last contribution to the afternoon - he had turned awkwardly on his ankle under Rudge’s challenge, and so was replaced on the pitch by Radley Veale, and between the sticks by Tom Gardner.



Groves twisted and turned into another shooting area but rammed the ball over the top at the end of the first half, and on the resumption of the game Gardner looked intent on keeping his remarkable goalkeeping record intact with two splendid saves, the first by palming a rasping long range effort from Turnock around the post, and from the resultant corner a clawing reaction stop to deny Nodwell.



Tivvy upped the tempo and Veale was tackled in the area after a typically penetrating run, Bobby Hopkinson shot just wide and Rudge was inches away from equalising when he met Villis’ long free kick at the far post. Tom Knighton had by now replaced the lively Groves with Paul Wyatt taking Gould’s place, and the extra attacking player paid dividends fifteen minutes from time. Hopkinson powered a free kick into the base of the defensive wall, kindly had the ball rebound back to him, lofted a cheeky ball towards the penalty spot, and Yiga rose highest of all to glance a header into the far corner.



It was a leveller that was deserved on the balance of play over the past twenty minutes, and a goal that encouraged Tiverton to push forward in search of a winning strike. That they did despite removing the experience of Villis and Chris Vinnicombe in favour of the more youthful Raiff Gwinnett and Alex Faux, and Arran Pugh headed over the top from Hopkinson’s free kick with ten minutes still on the clock. Veale lifted a shot too much, and Pugh met another Hopkinson free kick late in the game but was disappointed to miss the target from close range, leaving the game seemingly destined to end at one-apiece. But Yeovil had other ideas; a late, late corner, a deep cross, a far post header back from whence it came by substitute Jason Sangha - one-two! Gardner’s 302nd minute between with the gloves, the first time he had been called on to retrieve the ball from the net, sometimes football is a cruel game. At least Daddy Gardner won the halftime Golden Gamble draw!



Tiverton Town: Ray Johnston (Radley Veale 40); Adam Faux, Chris Vinnicombe (Alex Faux 79), Matt Villis (Raiff Gwinnett 79), Nathan Rudge, Tom Gardner, Glenn Gould (Paul Wyatt 66), Bobby Hopkinson, Lawrence Yiga, Arran Pugh, Matt Groves (Tom Knighton 63)



Yeovil Town: Lloyd Irish; Danny Thompson (Sam Elphick 64), Jordan Street, Rob Fitzgerald, Owen Irish, Jason Mason, Tom Scott, Harry Nodwell (Darren White 76), Troy Hewitt (Jason Sangha 76), Ben Taufik (Elliott Peck 68), Ren Turnock

This report ©2008 Alan Reidy






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